Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Gillard dodges migrant intake question
This seems to be confirmation that her only response to immigration-driven population pressures on basic services will be to sent more migrants to plkaces outside the big cities -- a policy that did not work for Gough Whitlam -- see here and here -- and has no chance of working anywhere outside a totalitarian State
JULIA Gillard has refused to say whether she plans to cut back the migrant intake in line with her argument for a reassessment of population policy.
On Tuesday Ms Gillard said in a speech that the nation needed to ask itself whether it was time to stop packing more people into Sydney's western suburbs when the region's infrastructure and services were struggling to meet the demands of the existing population. In doing so she became the first prime minister in decades to question the notion that a growing population will drive economic growth and prosperity.
Asked on Sydney radio station 2UE today whether this meant she wanted to pare back the nation's immigration intake, Ms Gillard, a Welsh migrant, refused to be drawn. “I think that's a question not just about numbers but where they are going,” she said.
Ms Gillard said the issue was not as simple as simply putting up the house full sign in western Sydney. Instead, it was time for the nation to take pause and ensure communities had proper infrastructure and services and that growth happened where there were adequate services to cope with its impacts. “Let's just get it all right,” she said. “Let's have skilled migrants go where we need them.”
She said councils in western Sydney did not want “Just to see a rush to a big Australia” but that councils in other parts of the nation which suffered labour shortages were “crying out” for more people.
ALL schoolchildren "require opportunities to engage in developmentally appropriate sex and sexuality exploration"?
We all know by now that early-age sex education has coincided with an increase in juvenile sexual activity but this would seem to positively encourage it
QUEENSLAND teachers have been told that all children "require opportunities to engage in developmentally appropriate sex and sexuality exploration".
A professional development series run by Education Queensland and Queensland Health, designed to help teachers cope with the growing problem, also questioned whether parents should be told about some incidents because of the distress it caused.
Child welfare group Bravehearts and the State Opposition claimed the information was "frightening" and "concerning" and came at a time of exponential growth in young children acting sexually towards their peers.
Former Education Queensland student services executive director Leith Sterling acknowledged some sexualised behaviour policies had been unclear and said Education Queensland was considering "embedding" protective behaviours in the curriculum.
Teachers were told experimental sexual play was normal but if a child could not be easily diverted, or had used aggression, it was a problem.
Prep children masturbating in class was considered to be developmentally appropriate given there was no concerning context. An example of two Prep children mutually taking part in the act prompted one health professional to ask teachers whether it was worth telling parents, if the children could be diverted from the activity.
The session was run last year with Education Queensland initially refusing to provide public access to it. Information was released only after a Right to Information application.
The department's policies have since come under question after it was revealed year one and two boys had allegedly performed sex acts on young girls at one state school which had 18 allegations of sexualised behaviour among pupils last year – 11 of them reported to police last year.
Education Queensland director-general Lyn McKenzie said there were systems in place to help staff deal with the issue and engage with parents on any incident where student welfare was a concern.
An Education Queensland spokesman said the claim that "all children require opportunities to engage in developmentally appropriate sex and sexuality exploration" was not the department's policy and "expert" opinion only.
But Bravehearts executive director Hetty Johnston said she found the statement frightening as the number of reported incidents was "growing exponentially".
The Green plan to kill your job
Andrew Bolt points out the insane policies of Australia's Green Party -- a grab-bag of just about every nutty Leftist idea ever thought of
ONE election result is already clear - and makes this debate about Tony Abbott’s “secret” plans even more brainless. Wake up, people. The Greens will have the balance of power in the Senate.
Labor sealed that deal when it agreed this week to swap preferences with a party that its wiser heads know would devastate the economy if it could. That’s politics, I guess. Winning is all, and to hell with the national interest.
But how grotesquely irresponsible. Labor is helping into power a party that demands we scrap our power stations and close industries that earn us at least $60 billion a year. Oh, and it wants us all to have more holidays, because hard work and making money really sucks.
About 12 per cent of voters say this is just the party for them, and even Labor now says it’s the best of the rest. Yes, that really is how infantile our society, and our politics especially, has become.
But Labor, whose primary vote has been unusually low, says this only because it badly needs Greens preferences to tip it over the line. In exchange, it’s agreed to help the Greens save its own five Senate seats - and to probably win a couple more.
It was already virtually inevitable Labor would win back some Senate seats from the Coalition, which overachieved in 2004, the Mark Latham election. But this deal also kisses goodbye to Victoria’s Family First Senator, Steve Fielding, who lucked his seat in 2004 when Labor absentmindedly preferenced him but will lose it now Labor is steering its second votes to the Greens instead.
That will be all it takes. After this election, no Government will be able to pass a law against the Opposition’s objection without the support of the Greens, and Greens alone.
Never before has this party had so much power - and so much opportunity to finally inflict on us some of the policies that so many innocent voters have treated as a just-dreaming position statement, rather than a deliberate manifesto for the de-industrialisation of our economy and the tribalising of our society.
This now is the real issue: how much of our future did Labor sell off just to get these Greens’ preferences? Never mind this week’s faked scare campaign about what workplace laws Opposition leader Abbott might secretly plan. The hapless schmuck couldn’t get them through a Greens-Labor Senate even if he wanted to.
No, what really needs debate is what the Greens might now demand from a Gillard government in exchange for its vote. And that, in turn, needs journalists especially to at last take seriously this party’s policies.
The truth is that the Greens’ manifesto has not been written down just for a joke or some mood music. It is the serious work of the serious ideological warriors hiding behind Bob Brown’s amiable front.
Vote Greens in this election and you won’t get cuddlier koalas, bigger hugs and cleaner rivers.In fact, you’ll be voting to “transition from coal exports”, which means ending a trade worth $55 billion a year. You’ll be voting to “end ... the mining and export of uranium”, worth another $900 million a year. You’ll be demanding farmers “remove as far as possible” all genetically modified crops, which includes GM cotton worth about $1.3 billion a year.
You’ll be voting to close down many other businesses and industries, including the export of woodchips from old-growth forests, certain kinds of fishing, oil and mineral exploration in parks or wildernesses, and new coal mines of any kind. You’ll even be voting to close the Lucas Heights nuclear facility, even though it actually produces treatments for cancer.
In fact, you’ll be voting for policies deliberately intended to make us poorer. Less industrialised. Or as the Greens’ policy puts it, for a “reduction of Australia’s use of natural resources to a level that is sustainable and socially just”. Whatever that formula means.
Maybe you think it won’t matter if a few industries get shut, as long as the rest make up for this loss of 6 per cent of our national income each year. Maybe you really are that stupid.
But you haven’t heard the rest of the Greens’ policies yet, have you? You see, the Greens also plan to shut the coal-fired power stations that produce 80 per cent of the electricity used to run our homes, factories, offices, hospitals, shops, traffic lights and airports. They not only “oppose the establishment of new coal-fired power stations” - claiming they make the planet dangerously hot - but intend to ban new coal supplies for those we already have. What’s more, they’ll hit our power stations with a new carbon tax to make wicked electricity too expensive for you.
Do you have any idea how many businesses would be driven broke by this green frolic? How many hundreds of thousands of jobs would be lost?
Already Labor’s threat to bring in emissions trading some time after 2012 has caused power station operators to cancel half the $18 billion they’d planned a year ago to spend on maintaining the ones they had or building the new power stations we’ll need as we grow bigger and richer. Power shortages now seem certain.
But if you think the Greens must surely have alternative power sources in mind to make up for the 80 per cent they’ll switch off, you’re dreaming. The Greens want to keep Labor’s ban on nuclear power, the most likely alternative and greenest source of base-load power. They even want to scrap government-financed research into carbon capture and storage, which is Labor’s one hope of making coal-fired stations still greenhouse-friendly.
Sure, the Greens do promise to somehow get 30 per cent of our electricity from “renewable” sources within just 10 years, but there’s a small problem. Correction, huge one. We’ve only managed to lift our renewable energy to 6 per cent after all these years of subsidies, and three quarters of that is from hydro-electricity. But guess which party bans any more of these river-killing dams?
So consider. If the Greens get their avowed way, we’ll have huge industries banned, businesses driven broke and power prices driven through the roof, with not enough electricity for what industries will be left.
So with our income slashed to ribbons, what do the Greens propose? Not deep cuts in every government program, but a spending spree to make Kevin Rudd seem a miser. It’s free money for everyone. If you vote for the Greens, you’re voting for an extra week of holidays for all, “mandated shorter standard working hours”, more pay to women workers, higher pay for casuals, and better weekly benefits to students and artists.
More pay for less work, at the mere stroke of a green pen. Isn’t this a darling way to reorganise the economy? What could possibly go wrong?
Too spendthrift, you complain? Wise up, friend. The Greens have barely started. They promise to lift foreign aid to “a minimum of 0.7 per cent of GDP by 2010”, which means an instant rise in handouts of $4 billion a year.
Another $2 billion a year will go to scrap tertiary fees and forgiving all HECS debts. Billions more will go on putting train lines underground and subsidising “green” power.
On and on the spending spirals, as if the Greens are the party for spoiled children using daddy’s credit card, with not the slightest giddy thought of how it’s all going to be paid for.
Oh, excuse me - the Greens do lazily assume that the bill will be covered by hiking corporate taxes, hitting the richer 5 per cent of us with wealth taxes, and slugging air travellers. Show us your costings, Bob. Wouldn’t come within a bull’s roar.
I’d be amazed if after a year of two of this that anyone would want to come to a country that by then would be a smoking hole in the ground. Yet the Greens plan to do their airy best to attract more beggars to their new nation of freeloaders.
Any “asylum seeker” making it here by boat would be freed into the community within 14 days, security checks permitting, and rewarded with instant benefits, medical services and school for the children. These tempting goodies will be offered to “environmental refugees”, too.
Guess to the nearest 10,000 how many people from Third World countries will want to cash in? Guess how many more billions this will cost, and what fresh tensions we’ll import?
By then, though, we’ll have more of our own ethnic tensions than ever, as the Greens divide us into tribes, squabbling over precedent and spoils.
Aborigines will be written into the constitution as having “prior occupation and sovereignty” over this shared land, and will be allowed to “reclaim language, heritage and cultural practices”. Like payback?
The more newly arrived will win the right to have government programs “implemented in languages other than English”, and to have their “cultural and linguistic diversity ... respected”. Like shariah law?
As for our defence ties with the United States, well, phooey to those white capitalist imperialists. The Greens want to close the joint bases here, pull out of the US missile defence program and end the ANZUS treaty. Naturally, many counter-terrorism laws will also be “reformed”. Which means weakened.
There’s not much point in going on, picking out the economic idiocy and social lunacy of a manifesto that would leave us poorer, more divided and more defenceless. The laughing stock of Asia.
It’s all so crazy that you may dismiss it as the idle dreams of homoeopaths in tofu sandals. But a new, militant industrial agenda is also buried in this New Age madness, signalling the arrival in Bob Brown’s party of “watermelon Greens” - green outside and red in, and meaning business big time.
These, like lead NSW candidate Lee Rhiannon, seem Greens more of convenience than faith, using this doctors’ wives party to smuggle in the kind of hard-Left politics that would scare off the voters if they saw it coming under a hammer and sickle.
But be clear: vote for their Greens and you’re voting for a return of union muscle of the most bullying kind. Secret ballots for industrial action would be abolished. Unions would have a formal right to strike, and their victims less right to sue for damages. Union bosses would have more power to barge into your workplace, and to dragoon workers into “industry wide agreements that are union negotiated”.
This is what a vote for the Greens really means. And it’s this party of vandals, tribalists and closet totalitarians that shameless Labor now helps to such threatening influence.
Heterosexual marriage is society's bedrock
By Bill Muehlenberg, secretary of the Family Council of Victoria
SADLY Derryn Hinch manages to mangle just about everything in the marriage debate (The Australian, July 16).
He totally misses the purposes of marriage for example. Marriage is a universal and historical institution which serves tremendous social purposes.
It regulates human sexuality, and it procures the wellbeing of any offspring from the sexual union. Thus it is not a mere private matter, but a vitally important social institution.
Governments have an overwhelming interest in heterosexual marriage. They have no reason to confer special rights and privileges on other types of sexual relationships. People are free to engage in those relationships, but they cannot expect to see their relationships elevated to that of heterosexual marriage.
Indeed, talk of inequality and discrimination is off base here. Those arguing for same-sex marriage are mixing apples with oranges. Everyone is entitled to the benefits of marriage as long as they meet the conditions and requirements of it.
Homosexual relationships simply do not meet the criteria, the most basic being to have one man and one woman. Governments have no obligation whatsoever to treat unequal things equally, or to grant the benefits of marriage to those who refuse to meet its minimum requirements.
Of course various social goods are denied to all sorts of people for various reasons. A driver who cannot meet the obligations of low insurance rates (too young, too many accidents and so on) will not be eligible to receive those benefits. That is how life operates. If anything, it is a necessary and just discrimination.
To survive, all societies engage in discrimination all the time. However, discrimination can be good as well as bad. Societies have always discriminated in favour of heterosexual unions and the children they produce because of the social good derived from them.
Procreation and the raising of children is an overwhelmingly important social good, and the mother-father unit cemented by marriage is an overwhelmingly superior way of ensuring the best outcomes for children. Therefore societies everywhere extend favours and benefits to married couples that they do not extend to other types of relationships.
The restrictions on marriage apply equally to everyone, whether heterosexual or homosexual. Thus there is no discrimination. The homosexual lobby is seeking to fundamentally rewrite the rule books on marriage to get all the benefits while avoiding the obligations.
And if we redefine marriage out of existence in order to placate the homosexual activists, then why stop there?
There are all sorts of other sexual relationships that people are demanding recognition of. Polyamory, or group love, is a growing movement demanding the rights to marriage as well.
The exact arguments used by those pushing for same-sex marriage are being used by the polyamorists.
If we legalise the former, is it not discriminatory and unjust to outlaw the latter? They too claim that it is all about love, and that they should have the same rights as heterosexual couples.
And Hinch is quite wrong to suggest that same-sex relationships are long-lasting. Plenty of studies prove the exact opposite. A recent study of homosexual men in Amsterdam found that the "duration of steady partnerships" was 1.5 years.
The truth is, plenty of homosexuals do not even want marriage. How many homosexuals actually avail themselves of it when it becomes legally available? Let's go back to The Netherlands. Same-sex marriage has been legal there since 2001, yet only about four per cent of Dutch homosexuals married during the first five years of legalisation.
Also, same-sex marriage demands are inexorably tied up with demands for homosexual parenting rights. But 40 years of social science research has overwhelmingly demonstrated the crucial importance two biological parents play in the wellbeing of children.
The studies make it clear that every child should have the basic human right of being raised by his or her own mother and father. And a recent Galaxy poll found that a full 86 per cent of Australians believe children should be raised by their biological parents.
This of course is stolen from them in same-sex households. Heterosexual marriage is society's most profound and valuable institution. It has been the bedrock of nations from time immemorial. To radically alter the nature of marriage and family is a recipe for trouble.